Cousins Liliana (left) and Anna Martinez pose for photos with Santa during Alto’s community Christmas celebration on Nov. 30, 2017.
It was the kind of evening that just warms your soul; the kind where home-baked goodness and heartfelt smiles blurred the line between strangers and friends.
Dozens of people of all ages gathered outside Alto City Hall Thursday night to light the town’s Christmas tree and celebrate the season.
It was as much about community as it was about Christmas.
“I think it’s great!,” enthused Angela Palmer. The Alto Police Department employee traded in her work clothes for an elf suit. “It’s great for the community. It’s great for the children. It’s just, overall, a good experience,” said the mother of two.
She wasn’t alone. A scan of the crowd revealed an abundance of Christmas cheer. As people chowed down on homemade refreshments and sipped hot chocolate, kids posed for photos with Santa. The Helen-based family country Christian band Titus Moss & Heaven’s Rhythm performed live. Their seasonal selections infused wintry merriment into the night air.
“I just want to thank everybody for coming out,” said council member Mike Ivie. “Titus and Fallon, their coming out to play for us. All the people that baked and brought things – the councilmen and other volunteers – and the city employees that put all this stuff up for us. They really work hard on these events and don’t get very much praise for it but I’m telling you now, we really appreciate what they do.”
It likely won’t be the last time they do it.
Alto Mayor Audrey Turner and council member Carolyn Cabe were among the revelers. Both say they’d like to see the town hold more social gatherings like this in the future.
“This is what we’ve tried to do for almost sixteen years is get the community to come together and have a good time,” said Turner. “It’s something we don’t do enough of,” added Cabe. “I think it’s great. I’ve enjoyed it. We’ve had fun.”